20 May 2000


Quote:  "This isn't real, is it?" the boy asked, pointing down.

"Why, yes, it is, now," the man answered.

"It's not a movie set or a trick of some kind?"

"No.  It's a summer resort.   It's just been completed.  It will be opened in a few weeks."

"Who built it?"

"I did."

"What's your name?"

"Howard Roark."

"Thank you," said the boy.  He knew that the steady eyes looking at him understood everything those two words had to cover.  Howard Roark inclined his head, in acknowledgment.

Wheeling his bicycle by his side, the boy took the narrow path down the slope of the hill to the valley and the houses below.  Roark looked after him.  He had never seen the boy before and he would never see him again.   He did not know that he had given someone the courage to face a lifetime.

-- The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand.

Happy Birthday to Me!


Today I am thirty.  Not surprisingly, I feel about the same on Day 10950 of my existence as I did on Day 10949.

As I've become a dreaded "grownup" I've become less inclined to get very excited about my own birthday.  I can't recall what I did last year for my birthday -- I suspect I was probably packing or unpacking in conjunction with the move to Montrose, which took place almost exactly one year ago.  I recall my 21st birthday being spent packing my stuff in the apartment Tom Hanna and I shared so that I could get myself back to Oklahoma for the summer; I did celebrate by going and buying myself a twelve-pack legally, and Micah and Katia interrupted the drudgery of packing by bringing by a cupcake for me with a single candle.  I recall Micah saying that he would have brought booze, but buying booze was one of the few perks of turning 21.  I always thought that was particularly nice.  Micah is one of the good people in the world, and I am lucky to call him a friend.

Day 10950 of my life was spent not a whole lot differently than previous annual milestones.  I had a million errands I needed to run, so Callie and I went running them in the Cobra -- and when you think about it, spending an afternoon with a hot babe in a hot convertible isn't such a bad birthday!  We had an adventure at the Kmart in the Heights.  The checkout lines were excruciatingly slow, and the cashier highly incompetent.  But I made friends with the folks in the line, because everyone was way too tense, especially for the Heights, which is a funky neighborhood like Montrose but less "in your face" with its eclecticism; it was actually kind of fun, and I had quite a few people smiling.  Why not?  We also made a run to Target, which was somewhat more efficient.  I wound up buying myself lots of birthday presents (and Callie bought me a few), although things like sheets and pet shampoo aren't all that exciting.  Callie wound up buying me a portable CD player for my truck, and a cordless beard trimmer -- thanks Callie!  We concluded the running around part of our evening at Spanish Village, where we were greeted by Pete (our personal waiter!) in the parking lot, and the fellow who runs the place told us "Welcome Home" when we went inside.  There may be fancier places in town, and they may be in better neighborhood -- but it's hard not to enjoy that kind of treatment (never mind the amazing enchiladas and queso) in the nation's fourth largest city.  To quote Hanah in reference to the Icehouse, but just as applicable here:   "This is Houston?"  Yes.

I had headaches off and on today and yesterday, although they finally went away.   I have decided that I had a hangover.  It was NOT the typical hangover induced from overconsumption of alcohol, however.  Oh no, this hangover, I've decided, was an Idiot Hangover.  Unfortunately, the Idiocy Density has been much too high for my brain for a week or so -- and even though the last two days have been a reduction in it, it has had a lingering effect.  I think I am recovered now.      



Copyright (c) 2000, Kevin L. Whited